Where does Andy Halliday stand in the new-look Rangers?

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Andy Halliday last season took on cult hero status before he even kicked a ball in anger at Ibrox. After all, he was a boyhood Rangers fan, growing up just a stone’s throw away from the stadium itself and had willingly sacrificed hard offers from other clubs in order to take a trial at Rangers and risk being out of a club entirely had Mark Warburton et al not liked what they saw.

Naturally they did though and the rest is history, with the attacking midfielder being one of the Magic Hat’s very first acquisitions in his complete overhaul of Rangers’ first XI.

The unfortunate side for Halliday though, the ‘catch’, if you like, is he never really got a sustained chance to prove himself in his ideal position; for without having a single truly reliable defensive midfielder, the former Bradford man found himself deputising in that role, a position he had never before played in.

Mark Warburton evidently did not trust young Andy Murdoch in that berth, and put him on loan to Cowdenbeath (then to QoS), while defensive-minded Dominic Ball, for the early part of the season, was tried mostly in defence as Rangers looked for their most suitable duo at the back.

Ergo, fate was not dreadfully kind to Halliday – out of position in a slot he was not truly comfortable with, the attacker made no secret of the fact that he hoped former Derby anchor man John Eustace would sign as he was a great tutor in that position. In truth, of course, Halliday probably wanted the holding midfielder in the DM slot so he himself could be deployed further up where he felt he would be more effective.

Alas, it was not to be, Eustace departed Murray Park eventually and Rangers remained without a proper DM, although Dom Ball did start getting played there more. However, Jason Holt (and later, Harry Forrester) was always first choice for the attacking midfield role leaving Halliday slightly deeper still even when Ball took up DM, never truly getting the proper chance to have a sustained run in that creative slot.

Now, this summer window spells more competition in every department of midfield; Rangers do now have several options for holding midfield. Joey Barton, Jordan Rossiter and Matt Crooks to name just three are absolutely perfect for that role, meaning Halliday’s services there are most definitely surplus. Unfortunately for him though attacking midfield is now bursting at the seams with quality and competition has become incredible. Josh Windass, Harry Forrester, Jason Holt and inevitably it seems Niko Kranjcar are all superb options for that role, and Halliday might just be a little worried as to how he fits in.

The bigger problem too is nearly all of those players are quite capable more centrally as well, as Rangers basically have seven excellent options (excluding Halliday) for the three midfield roles. Add Halliday to that, and it is eight, and you have to accept he may just struggle to get the same kind of run he did last season.

Naturally, Warbs may remain loyal to him, and give him a chance in his proper position to see if he can earn the slot by right – and that would be a very fair approach – he never really got the proper opportunity to prove himself as an attacking midfielder last season, or even on the wing, a position he was quite potent in for Bradford.

But one suspects Halliday will face an uphill struggle to remain consistently in the team; more out of bad fortune than a complete lack of ability, of course.

That said, competition for places is what Rangers should be about; and having a pool of excellent quality in midfield is exactly what fans demand. If Halliday remains, it will surely be by merit, and he will have evidently proven himself worthy of being ahead of the marquee signings Rangers are making.

We will see how it unfolds.

13 COMMENTS

  1. I can't see Halliday getting anywhere close to the same game time this season. My midfield three would be Barton, Holt and Kranjar.

    If Rossiter is to be as good as the media say then he will be getting more games than Halliday.

    Crooks is another with great potential and will require games.

    Jordan Thompson is one to look out for so can see him going out on loan.

  2. Wish all the new players every success but Andy is a true blue who was excellent for us last season. You need that local identity and loyal connection with the club and I hope the Magic Hat gives Andy first chance and that he proves good enough to take it.

  3. Barton and Kranjar are not for the long-haul, Halliday is. It's great to have the experience of these guys and others like Clint Hill, but they are looking at Rangers as the last hurrah of their career's before calling it a day. Halliday's a bluenose and someone who is a big game player but will also go the extra yards needed to win matches on miserable mid-week January nights

    • I dont think Halliday is the long haul, I see him as a bit part player, as i think Warburton will sign better players if not this year then definately next, I think he will be pushed down the pecking order. I agree the boys a bluenose and good luck to him he is livin the dream wearing the jersey, But thats life

  4. At best he will be a squad player, probably getting games in the cups or comin on as sub, I know hes one of our own & all that but thats the way it goes, good luck to him though as I like the guy

  5. To be fair to the guy if he doesnt get games [ and I think he will get some] then we should loan him out,
    I believe he was at Bradford & withe Stuart McCall there im sure he could get games there

  6. Considering when we signed Andy he was a left wing back or a left winger and was filling an empty hole in the middle of the park. Where the only natural cm we had was holt and i suppose zalalem but was also more of a creative type player. Law sheilds, mckay forrester all played in cm but where never cmids and never will be as there all attacking minded. So to me it is no surprise that the position is the most bolstered so far this season. I think halliday will be a key player for rangers next season and could be on his natural left winger when wallace pushes forward we will have halliday covering him slotting in at left back.

  7. Squads looking great I can't wait for the season to start ! Ref halliday I think he's a great player and think he will get lots of games !

  8. Gk
    Foderingham, gilks? Mcgovern?
    Lb
    Wallace,halliday, Nelson ?
    Cb
    Wilson ,kiernan,hill,crooks,Nelson?,Marriapa?
    Rb
    Tavernier,Aird
    Dm
    Barton,crooks,rossiter,Halliday
    Cm (holding type)
    Holt,rossiter,Halliday Barton,crooks
    Cm (attacking type)
    Windass ,Halliday ,Holt ,krancjar ?
    Lw
    Halliday , o'halloran,mckay ,waghorn,miller,
    Rw
    Forrester,mckay,waghorn ,miller
    Att
    Waghorn,miller,windass,????

    Plenty of options for halliday will be a valuable player for us.

    • FFS just looking at this squad compared to all the sh*te we have had to put up with over the past 4 years it gives me goosebumps, Cant FKN wait bring it on

  9. He completely put Scott Brown out the game in last old firm. He's got to be in the team on merit. Got to be loyal to the man.

  10. I think we will forget all his good performances and get shot of him and everybody else who are not in the first eleven because we will not have any injuries , suspensions or loss of form.Another stupid post in a blog that is full of them .I actually go on to this site nowadays to read what ridiculous thoughts are being typed .Then , predictably people join in by saying that Crooks , Windass and Rossiter are better than him , hopefully they will be , but most on here won`t even have seen them play yet.We need a squad and Andy is a valuable member of that squad and will play often.

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